Friday, February 26, 2010

Tanking Tips and You!

Pretty soon I will have a full deck. What I mean by this is that my hunter is currently 79 and once I ding 80 on him I will have an 80 of every class (and a second pally.) Because of this I've had the pleasure of tanking on three out of four tanking classes, sorry druids but feral just never interested me. Now some of these tanking alts started out life as dps only and were moved to a tanking offspec(warrior) and some were always meant to be tanks(paladin/death knight) with a dps or healing offspec. Now I've tanked every instance/raid possible between my three tanks and I'd like to think that I picked up a few helpful hints for other tanks looking for some help with threat management, tps, or even abilities.

I'll start off with my favorite tanking Paladin!

Paladins are the kings of aoe tanking and are therefore constantly hated on by the other tanking classes. I'm sure we've all heard other tanks constantly say that "they are not paladins so give them a few seconds to get agro before aoe'ing." To this I respond by saying...I love my pally! Anyway here's some tips I've picked up along the way:

  • Auras can and should be changed. If you're the only paladin and you are going into a fight with a element based damage like Marrowgar/Deathwhisper you should should change your aura to benefit the raid. Yes devotion or ret will help you but being able to help the raid resist at least a little bit of damage will help the healers with mana because that will be one less heal they have to cast on a dps and that means that they have one more heal that they can cast on you! At the very least be sure to change out of crusader when you get in the instance.
  • Feel free to bop/salv high threat generators. Pre-wrath all high dps classes were constantly asking to be buffed with blessing of salvation so that they would build less threat and could therefore dps harder. With this expansion that blessing was sadly taken away but all tank threat generating abilities were improved so most of the time it isn't necessary to fade/feign/cower/feint as often. If you find yourself with a high dps raider who is getting too close to your threat and doesn't understand that pulling agro off you and dying is not the best agro shed move, feel free to use hand of salvation on them to reduce their threat or even hand of protection them. That should help them not pull agro off you and die or wipe the raid.
  • Divine plea is your friend. Find yourself running out of mana real fast? Use divine plea at the start of the pull and as long as you are actively attacking a target your divine plea will refresh itself and you will keep gaining mana from it.
  • When in doubt, bubble! There are a lot of fights where you will have a dot/bleed/debuff on you that can not be dispelled but bubbling can get rid of them. This is very useful to your healers because that means that you no longer have to have healers keep you up while a debuff ticks away on you. An example of this is the dot that gormok the impaler puts on tanks in ToC10/25.
  • Always judge. It doesn't matter if you have five pallies all judging in the raid, you should always be judging. It generates threat and does damage to the target. If you're the only paladin then judge accordingly based on your raid makeup. More casters means judging wisdom and more melee means judging light.
Warriors: I personally haven't been tanking as long on my warrior this expansion but I've managed to tank several raids and heroics without embarrassing myself. Through these runs I've picked up a few tips from other warriors and figured out a few things for myself. So here we go:
  • Vigilance is more then what Batman is constantly on. Its an awesome ability that both reduces threat on a raid/group member and transfers 3% of it to you. Always have it up on whichever person in the group/raid is generating the most threat, note that this is not the same thing as the highest dpser, so pay attention to your threat meter and put it on whoever is next up on threat.
  • AoE threat is not the sole domain of paladins or dks! Yes those two classes have a lot of advantages when it comes to holding threat in aoe situations but that doesn't mean that warriors aren't able to do it. Thunderclap every cool down, learn to tab cleave, and in case you missed a few mobs with your thunderclap...use demoralizing shout! While it wont keep every single mob on you if you only spam demo shout, it does generate a very small amount of threat and can pick up a few adds that have agro'ed onto a healer because of their healing agro. I have used this in the gauntlet event in Pit of Saron to grab the adds that my thunderclap missed so they dont zerg the healer.
  • Disarm never hurts. There are actually several raid and heroic bosses that are disarmable and should be disarmed whenever possible! While I don't have a list with me, I know that the first of the northrend beasts in ToC10/25 is disarmable. It never hurts to try to disarm a boss so you should always try. A disarmed boss will do a lot less damage so your healers will definitely love you if you disarm whenever possible.
  • Stuns are fun and helpful. Warriors have three stuns available to them: two are on demand abilities: concussion blow and shockwave, and a 50% chance to stun when you use revenge if you are specced into improved revenge(and you should be). Now most bosses are immune to stuns but when you are tanking and an add runs away from you to a healer or ranged dps, a stun is great to use if your taunt is on cd.
Death Knights:
  • Anti-magic shell should always be on cd. Almost every raid boss does some sort of magic damage that your AMS will help you take less damage on. Fires on Marrowgar and frostbolts/death and decay on Deathwhisper are the first two that pop into mind. While they did nerf AMS from letting you take no magic damage to only absorbing a percent of the magic damage done to you, it is still helpful to reduce the amount of damage done to you. Once again your healers will love you if you don't need as much healing.
  • Death pact should be used whenever appropriate. What I mean by this is that if a boss is almost dead and suddenly your healers all die mysteriously, you should pop out a ghoul and use death pact. It can heal you for over 10k and does not share a cool down with a potion and if you are glyphed for reagentless ghoul spawning(and every dk should be) it will only cost you 40 runic power, which you will probably have anyway.
  • Save death and decay for pulls of three or more. I see a lot of dks waste their dnd on single pulls and it makes me sad. For single or even two mob pulls it is a waste of runes to use it. It costs a blood, frost, and unholy rune...leaving you with enough runes to put your diseases on one target at most.
  • Deathgrip is very useful! I cant tell you how many times I wish I had a death knight in my ICC raid just for death grip! Getting those stubborn casters out of casting range and into melee range helps clearing so much. Whether its trash casters or caster adds in the Deathwhisper fight, getting them into melee range or yanking them out of the death and decay is so helpful.

Well for the moment that's all I can think of for tanking tips. If I come up with more tips I'll post a part two to this post. Hope it helps whoever reads this.

- Jed

1 comment:

  1. No bear advice? -sadface-.

    I agree with you the DG is awesome. I had a massive rant to my friend today about how I just wanted to level a DK for the sheer novelty of using the ability :).